HRC56-Interactive dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - 03 July 2024
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Statements | HRC

HRC56 - Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic


1. Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

2. Haydar Ali Ahmad, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva 

3. Mattia Toaldo, Attaché, Permanent Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

4.  Burak Akçapar, Permanent Representative of Türkiye to the United Nations Office at Geneva





Excellency is distinguished colleagues.
We will now begin the interactive dialogue on the oral update of
the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.
It is my pleasure
to welcome members of the commission
Mr Paulo Sergio
Ms Lynn Welchman
and Mr Honey Meli.
The list of speakers will close in 15 minutes.
And I would now like to invite Mr Paolo Sergio Pinero,
chair of the Commission of Inquiry, to present the report.
So you have the floor,
Excellencies colleagues, friends.
We have documented extensive human rights relations and war crimes
across the Syrian territory by all parties to the conflict.
There has been a consistent disregard for the lives and well
being of the Syrian people with no end in sight.
The situation on the ground has grown more complex with a crumbling economy, a
devastating humanitarian situation
which wasn't due to the earthquake last year,
increasing reliance on drug manufacturing and trade
and I stayed unwilling and to a certain extent, unable to safeguard
its people's safety and security.
Six foreign armies are engaged militarily in the country.
Equally concerning is the deepening fragmentation of the country on all
fronts which will have considerable repercussions in the long term,
including on serious fabric and unity.
Appalling cycles of violence continue
in Sanam.
In Deraa on 7th April, 10 civilians, including two Children,
were killed by a pro government militia, reportedly in retaliation for
an attack in
which at least seven Children were killed.
Massacres such as this invoke the atrocities committed
with impunity during the conflict,
including during the darkest day of Daesh
rule and five years after DAESH
lost its territorial hold. We continue to document brutal attacks by DAESH
elements in North, East and central Syria.
Accountability and rule of law is also needed in opposition held areas.
We have received reports of recent positive steps in
Syria national arms
areas to hold Ahmed group members accountable for serious,
serious violations of human rights law.
However, at the same time you continue to document cases of
members involved in torture and ill treatment of detainees in their
custody. Madam
While the tempo of the conflict has ebbed and flowed,
the root causes that led to it is still very much
present from ongoing demonstrations calling for
political reform and accountability in Sweden
in the south of the country, now in their 10th month
to demonstrations against
Haan. Authoritarian rule in Italy
now in their fifth month,
and the recent eruption of protests in North Aleppo.
Syrians are calling for and deserve better across a divided Syria.
We see predatory security forces and militias
overseeing 15
starting monetary gain from civilians rather than ensuring protection.
The rule of law
in communicado
and enforced disappearance continue
with families of those unlawfully detained, often compelled
to pay large sums of money to try to obtain information
on the fate of their loved ones.
Senior refugees recently returning from Lebanon
have reportedly been detained,
and their whereabouts are now a no.
Drug trafficking and smuggling have spread with the involvement of pro and anti
government factions,
causing further insecurity.
A law of occupation, confiscation and destruction of homes, land
and properties of IDPs
and refugees continue in a sort of slow motion. But ST
further eroding their rights and rendering the prospects
of their return home more elusive Every day.
The long run running conflict and its
consequences have thus become further entrenched.
Impunity and lawlessness have shaped a green reality
for all Syrians with no end in sight.
World leaders involved in the conflict in Syria
are failing to achieve progress towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict
and they
and the Syrian government are failing the Syrian people.
The former UN Under Secretary general
for humanitarian affairs, Mr Martin Griffiths,
recent observation that such
is most evident in the leaders, who,
with such callous disregard for the consequences of their own
people and others remorselessly reach for the gun instead of pursuing
diplomatic solutions
reflects the dynamics which drive the Syrian conflict.
The normalisation
on track that some Arab states led last year
and that saw Syria rejoin the League of Arab States has yet to bring
results as reportedly no further meaningful concessions
were made by the Syrian government.
Both the government and the international community seem bizarrely
content to maintain the status quo in Syria.
this is not a viable option for the Syrian people,
whether inside and outside the country.
Internally arbitrary detention in forces, disappearance,
torture and death in detention continue.
While violence and its security plague different parts
of the country and the economy flat lines
in neighbouring countries,
Syrians are increasingly at risk of deportation and forced return to Syria,
where they risk being arrested or disappeared or returning to find
their homes and farms destroyed and no means of livelihood.
Adding further complexity to this landscape
is the risks posed by the Israel Palestine conflict and
the likelihood for further escalation in Syria and the region
more positively outside the country.
Syrian civil society has been
leading highly creative accountability initiatives.
This has led to the recent verdict in Paris,
which found the three high ranking Syrian officials due to complicity
in crimes against humanity and war crimes against
two French Syrian nationals skilled in detention.
They also include their active support to the International
Court of Justice proceeding regarding Syrian state torture,
which ruled for provisional measures in the case brought by Canada and
the Netherlands against Syria for violations of the Convention Against Torture.
We hope this will be the start for
further steps to hold all perpetrators accountable.
Another positive development was the long wait establishment of an
institution dedicated to helping the families of the thousands of missing
and disappear and cover the fate of their loved ones.
We are not naive about the challenges ahead,
but we are very glad to see the voice of these families heard
after many years of the advocacy which you supported from the very start,
President Excellence. Every time we address you here
at the council and I'm doing this for the last 11 years, you ask us, what more can you do
to help the Syrian people?
In addition to continuing to support accountability efforts
and the institution for the missing would like to propose
three critical areas where your government's action is urgently needed.
The first area is the situation of those
detained arbitrarily since 2019 in north east Syria,
some states are doing their best to repatriate their nationals,
those who have not needed to follow suit and bring their citizens home.
Our policy paper this march dealt with the specific issue
of the now 28,000 Children arbitrarily detained in camps
in the north east.
As for Syrians who originate
in that area, they are gradually returning to their communities.
I abide with a few challenges,
but those who came from government controlled areas are at
a great risk if they are involuntarily returned there.
Your government's help is needed in assisting the authorities in the
north east to find a solution for these Syrians too.
The second
is the imposition of unilateral coercive measures
by some of your government
on Syria.
It is now very clear
there are seriously adverse, sometimes
so called unintended
consequences that negatively impact the civilian population.
The Secretary general's report of June last year
described how humanitarian organisations face both increased costs
in their procurement and delays in the
delivery of goods
and financial transactions Due to complex
assessment, We urge member states
to conduct urgent reviews of their imposition of sanctions
to ensure that these negative impacts
are eliminated.
it is the area
is your government's alarming lack of support
for the humanitarian response plan
for 2024. I'd like to repeat that
the final area is your government's alarming lack
of support for the humanitarian response plan.
For 2024
we are now at the heart
eight point
and only 13%. I repeat, 13% of the $4.7 billion needed has been raised.
We are aware that numerous other crisis need attention,
but the Syrian people cannot just be dropped
Because of this,
they have endured 13 years of conflict
and they deserve much more help from your government.
Thank you